A biofuel is any fuel derived from plant or animal biomass. Biomass includes trees, agricultural crops, organic waste, residue and effluent of agricultural, agro-industrial and domestic origin. Biofuels are renewable energy sources, unlike other natural resources such as petroleum, coal, and nuclear fuels. Bioethanol (ethanol derived from crops) and biodiesel are the two primary biofuels.
Biodiesel Plant Jathropa
The use of biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel for transportation could aid in reducing the level of petroleum imports, increasing the country’s energy security, creating employment and revitalizing the agricultural sector. The Government of Jamaica has recognized the role that biofuels can play in diversifying Jamaica’s energy base and, through its National Energy Policy 2009-2030, has encouraged the use of biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel in the transport sector. In line with this, the Government implemented an island wide roll out of E10 gasoline in November 2009.
To be truly effective, biofuels should be produced in an ecologically sustainable way. Their use should also be in conjunction with energy conservation measures such as car-pooling, proper vehicular maintenance and walking, instead of driving, short distances whenever possible.
* Mandate for E10 gasoline which is expected to create market opportunities for cultivation of local feedstock to support ethanol production.
* Jamaica imports hydrous ethanol from Brazil to support local demand.
* Jamaica has 3 ethanol dehydration plants, with a combined capacity of 220 million gallons per year, which produce ethanol for local consumption and export to the USA under the Caribbean Basin Initiative.